British PM May says changing leadership will delay Brexit

Theresa May at the rear entrance of 10 Downing Street

"A change of leadership at this point isn't going to make the negotiations any easier and it isn't going to change the parliamentary arithmetic", she told Sky News in an interview.

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, will address Labour MPs at the regular meeting of the parliamentary Labour party on Monday night and urge MPs to hold their nerve in the face of the threat that rejecting May's deal would result in a no-deal Brexit.

After more than a year of negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May presented a Brexit withdrawal agreement from the European Union that seemed to unite British politicians across the spectrum in their hatred for it.

The prime minister has seven days before that crucial Brussels summit - and we'll be broadcasting Sophy Ridge on Sunday live from there next weekend.

But his work as part of the Joint Ministerial Council on Brexit and Gibraltar means he is well acquainted with the issues facing this community and the negotiations to date.

"This isn't about me".

He told Sky News there was support in parliament and in Europe for a "unity platform" that avoided a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Corbyn insisted Labour would be able to negotiate a better deal, even within the time remaining before Brexit, saying the proposed transition period - which will only happen if there is a withdrawal agreement - offered "some opportunities" for this.

The PM reiterated that the much-discussed backstop plan contained within the agreement did not mean the United Kingdom could be locked into an arrangement that was not in its interest.

"She is tackling an issue of epic proportions, on which she can never please everyone, and she is doing her very best to find a way through", he said.

For those in favour of a definitive Brexit, meanwhile, the deal fails to deliver on a clean break with the European project.

It is a "backstop we never intend to use", she said, adding: "Were it to have to be used, both sides can review it".


May said the week ahead would be "critical" in the Brexit talks.

The senior backbencher also revealed he was not totally happy with Mrs May's withdrawal agreement.

Corbyn said he voted "reform and remain" when the original Brexit referendum took place in June, 2016. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. It is considered highly unlikely that the European Union leadership would be open to significant revisions to the withdrawal deal both sides agreed to last week.

When asked about how she felt personally about the comments she had heard about herself over the last few weeks, she replied: "Who are we here for?"

He said: 'I will support this Prime Minister and I want her to get this right'.

May said she had spoken to Graham Brady at the end of last week and that the threshold of 48 letters needed to trigger a no confidence vote in her leadership had not been reached.

He said he did not know who had inserted a clause on customs relations into the future partnership document but said it was a "clear breach" of the Conservative manifesto.

Asked how he would vote today if he could, he said: "I don't know".

Many say the conditions under the draft agreement are worse.

He added that he had read numerous summaries and analyses.

"I do think there is a point at which, we probably should have done it before, where we just say "I'm sorry this is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we can not accept those dictated terms".

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